The Adoption World: Real Life vs Online
Being part of the adoption world has been an eye opening experience, as I knew it would be the moment we began considering adoption to grow our family.
Before I jump into this, I have to start by saying I am referring to adoptive parents, adopted children in this post simply for clear language. We do not refer to ourselves as adopted parents or to Little MPB as an adopted child on a day-to-day basis.
Our real life experiences are nothing like our online experiences. Our real life experiences typically consist of:
- relationships we have developed with other open-adoption families who we met through our local adoption agency. While we don’t actually share a lot in common in our day-to-day lives, we do tend to share our perspective as adoptive parents who want to find ways to help our children as they grow up. And, we also all hopeful that eventually our children will all be able to support each other as they grow up and start to explore how adoption forms part of their individual identity. We are all involved in open adoptions and share the same core values regarding openness.
- relatives who were adopted internationally in closed adoptions about 20 years ago.
- a few adoptees who are now adults that we randomly know.
Being part of the online community has been fascinating. There have been multiple online stories that have shocked me to my very core and have brought tears to my eyes. I have read all kinds of stories, the list too long to write. But one consistency between the stories is that there seems to be a whole lot of judgement from some of those involved in the online adoption. Judgement from all sides – adoptive parents, adopted children, birth families and even just random people (aka trolls). The perspective on the internet seems to be rather slanted to say that there is a lot of damage that has been done through the adoption process to a whole lot of people. There is no doubt that adoption has not been good for everyone in the world, I am not trying to open that debate here today.
I think the point of what I’m trying to say is that I am actually very conscious about the adoption related articles I read and the blogs I follow. In fact, for me to follow anything adoption related it has to be a well balanced perspective and it has be constructive to help me learn as a parent. That doesn’t mean that for me to read something it has to be about a someone living a fairy-tale life – in fact, many that I follow are not living fairy-tale lives. Rather they are just living life and processing their experiences regardless of if their experience is that of an adopted child, adoptive parents or birth parents. Really, it’s no differently then how I view my blog – I am just living my life and sharing my perspectives as they arise, grow and develop over time. But I don’t tend to read sensationalized, extremist adoption blogs/articles. (To be fair that’s also how I read non-adoption related blogs/articles too, especially political articles these days – but that a different topic for a different day).
I guess, maybe what I’m trying to say is that the online voice is not the same as the real life voice I hear. And, I’m not sure why that is?
Specifically, I hear a lot of online talk about adoptees as either happy/well-adjusted or unhappy/angry and I rarely hear about good adoptive parents or good open adoption relationships. And, I wonder, why don’t I hear that same happy/unhappy language and that same negativity about adoptive parents in real life? My real life exposure is much more ‘balanced’ (for lack of a better word) – way less negativity and way less focus on adoption in general. In our real lives, adoption is part of our families narrative, but it’s not the only part of the narrative.
I don’t have an answer to this. But is sure has me thinking today. Maybe I live in some sort of bubble?
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